The problem of opioid addiction does not restrict itself to urban areas. It is an epidemic that plagues all of us equally. Rural towns all over America, just like Metter fight the same battle of addiction. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 150 people die from opioid related overdoses every day. Opioid overdoses kill more people annually than car accidents and gun related homicides combined! What can we do about it? ERH Healthcare, management company for five rural hospitals, including Candler County Hospital, has created an Opioid Task Force to help bring awareness Together working within their hospital health system, they seek best practices in fighting this crisis.
One of those best practices is using the WAKE-UP Model.
Warn ourselves- opioids are high risk.
Access- Use more than the traditional Pain scale, access sedation also.
Know-the opioids most used and the patients that use them.
Engage- Patients, families must set realistic pain expectations, use non-sedating analgesics.
Utilize- Dose limits, alternative medications, layering and other treatment options.
Protect- we must protect or patients and community from opioid harm.
Through education outreach programs of physicians, clinical personal, patients and our community, we can bring this problem to light and create real change in our community. Watch for Opioid educational opportunities coming soon at Candler County Hospital.